CHICAGO—During Earth Week in April, Illinois is marking Earth Day, April 22, as “No Print Day” to draw attention to the overuse of paper and on how to reduce paper consumption overall.
“On ‘No Print Day,’ we encourage employees to re-examine the need for printing, copying or faxing documents,” said CMS Director Malcolm E. Weems. “The State ¬of Illinois is committed to protecting the environment and increasing efficiency.”
Since January 2011, CMS’ efforts to reduce the number of print, fax, copier and scan equipment has resulted in an estimated savings of more than $6.2 million. Through our I-Cycle Program, the state in FY 13 has recycled:
• 2,946,844 pounds of paper
• 365,802 pounds of OCC (card board)
• 1,129 Pounds of plastic
• 4,067 pounds of Aluminum
• 58,168 pounds of empty food cans from prisons
• 30,482 pounds of assorted comingled items
With less than 5% of the world’s population, the U.S. represented close to one-third of the world’s total material consumption – including 33% of paper – between 1970 and 1995, according to the U.S. EPA. The agency also noted that recycling one ton of paper can save enough energy to power the average American home for six months. And if the average American were to cut office paper use by roughly 10%, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 1.6 million tons -- the equivalent of taking 280,000 cars off the road for a year, according to the Environmental Paper Network.
Here are some ways to help reduce paper waste:
• Recycle at the nearest recycle bins
• Send faxes electronically/email attachments
• Think before you print something
• Read it via monitor
For more information on “No Print Day” and the State’s overall efforts to go green, please visit http://cms.illinois.gov or http://green.illinois.gov
Many state agencies are taking proactive steps to reduce paperwork and go green. In 2010, the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) had more than 100 million pieces of paper stored in case files at local offices and warehouses throughout the state. DHS assessed the costs and benefits of digitizing forms that help individuals apply for critical social and health services and decided to digitize thousands of documents. This created a savings of more than $600,000 per month and ultimately $1 million dollars annually by eliminating more than 7 million pieces of paper.